Preview: Cardiff City vs. Nottingham Forest

Preview: Cardiff vs. Nottm Forest
© Getty Images
Sports Mole looks ahead to Russell Slade's first match in charge of Cardiff City as the Bluebirds host Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Saturday.

Russell Slade will finally get his Cardiff City reign underway when his new side host Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Saturday.

A protracted switch from former club Leyton Orient was finally completed earlier this month as Slade was officially announced as the new manager, and his first task will be to turn Cardiff's ailing fortunes around.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his time at the helm ended following a poor start to life back in the Championship, but things did not improve much in his absence.

The nadir came in their last outing as they became the first team to lose to Blackpool this season, falling to a hugely disappointing 1-0 defeat at Bloomfield Road.

That made it just one win in their last eight league outings, and Slade will have been grateful for the international break to give him a chance to mould his new side as he sees fit.

Nine of their 13 points this season have come at home, and victory over a high-flying club like Forest could act as the springboard the Bluebirds need to rise up the table.

Slade will be without Ben Turner for the match, although the defender is nearing a return from injury having missed the whole season so far.

Forest, meanwhile, go into Saturday's match in relatively poor form themselves, despite their lofty position in the league table.

Stuart Pearce's side have drawn their last four league outings yet still remain joint top with Norwich City courtesy of those around them also slipping up.

Even so, Pearce will know that four points from a possible 12 is not good enough for a side tipped by many for automatic promotion, and he will be desperate to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.

They are, however, one of only two Championship teams who are still unbeaten this season, and their late equaliser to rescue a 2-2 draw against Ipswich Town last time out would have almost felt like a victory.

One concern for Pearce will be that the goals seem to have dried up for Britt Assombalonga, who began the season so impressively but has now gone more than a month without a goal.

Injuries are starting to take their toll on the visitors' squad too, with Andy Reid ruled out for the rest of the year and Jack Hobbs, Chris Cohen and Dexter Blackstock also sidelined.

Recent form

Cardiff: LDWLDL

Nottm Forest: DDDLDW

Possible starting lineups

Cardiff: Marshall; Connolly, Manga, S Morrison, Fabio; Pilkington, R Morrison, Gunnarson, Whittingham, Noone; Jones

Nottm Forest: Darlow; Hunt, Lascelles, Mancienne, Fox; Burke, Vaughan, Osborn, Antonio, Lansbury; Assombalonga

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Who will win Saturday's match between Cardiff and Nottingham Forest?

Cardiff
Nottingham Forest
Draw
Cardiff
41.0%
Nottingham Forest
39.3%
Draw
19.7%
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves1392224131129
2Cardiff CityCardiff138321810827
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd139041811727
4Leeds UnitedLeeds137242112923
5Aston Villa136431913622
6Norwich CityNorwich136431314-122
7Bristol City135622014621
8Preston North EndPreston135621711621
9Derby CountyDerby125431713419
10Fulham134631714318
11Ipswich TownIpswich126062018218
12Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest136071721-418
13Middlesbrough134541512317
14Hull City134452420416
15Millwall134451614216
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds134451616016
17Queens Park RangersQPR133641617-115
18Brentford132741718-113
19Barnsley123361518-312
20Reading123361114-312
21Birmingham CityBirmingham13328821-1311
22Burton Albion13247625-1910
23Sunderland131661625-99
24Bolton WanderersBolton13139724-176